Indonesia: Danger Lurks At Illegal Gold Mines – by Keisyah Aprilia (Eurasia Review – March 10, 2021)

Risna recounted scrambling to save herself when dirt and rocks came tumbling into a 49-foot deep pit where she and other residents were mining for gold in Indonesia’s Central Sulawesi province on Feb. 24.

Seven people were killed and dozens more survived that landslide at the illegal mining site in Buranga, a village in Parigi Moutong regency, rescue officials had said.

“We the panners scrambled. Some managed to climb to the top but some were buried,” Risna, a 36-year-old woman who goes by one name, told BenarNews.

The deadly accident underscores the dangers of small-scale mining activities for gold and other metals at more than 8,600 sites across the Indonesian archipelago, where dozens of people die every year, mostly during landslides, according to officials.

The economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed residents to pan and mine for gold because they don’t have jobs, observers said.

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